Why is the Salesforce Opportunity Amount Field Locked?

A common question that I’ve been asked by a few users over the years – why is the Salesforce Opportunity’s Amount field locked? When I was just learning Salesforce, it made no sense to me. Every opportunity that I’ve encountered could have the Amount field entered in ad hoc as a number field. In the scenario I was presented, it had a ‘locked’ button when there usually was meant to be a pencil, meaning I can edit. I’ve recently been asked this from a User, and here is a recent screenshot I’ve received:

Opportunity Amount Field locked in Salesforce

I figured I’d write up an article to explain why an Opportunity Amount field is Locked. Usually, what I do is ask the User to send over to me the URL of the Salesforce record they have an inquiry on.

In these situations, an initial thought is always – was the record locked due to being within an approval process? I looked at the opportunity’s approval history and saw that it wasn’t being sent through an approval, so the record shouldn’t be locked due to that. Before receiving that screenshot, I asked, did you see an error that another user (integration or otherwise) was trying to gain exclusive access to the record? Only one person (or integration user) is able to update a record at a time. Looking back to the first time I encountered this issue, it was odd, but as I was scrolling through the record – it turned out, there were opportunity products on the record, even though it was still within the initial stages.

When I inquired to the user why there were products synced with the opportunity, they informed me that this opportunity was just assigned to them from another user, and instead of closing out the Opportunity, they moved the Sales Stage back to initial. Typically, as a business process, once opportunity products are synced to the record, it is usually in the later stages.

We can certainly discuss the positives and negatives of allowing a Salesforce user to progress back through Sales Stages in another post, however – the reason that the Salesforce Opportunity Amount field is locked is due to the Opportunity Products associated with the Opportunity. These Opportunity products are then rolled up into the Opportunity Amount field. It makes sense that, if an opportunity has products, if you want to be able to accurately forecast your opportunities, the Amount field field must become locked to coincide with the value currently on the record reflected through the products.

Unlock Salesforce Opportunity Amount Field

There are two options to consider how to move forward here, with of course, the guidance and approval of Sales Management:

1) The user can Loss out the original Opportunity, and create a new one with an editable Amount field
2) The user, with the help of an Admin, can clear out the Opportunity Products on the record.

This decision will have to be made by the Sales Management with consideration with the other executive teams involved in the Opportunity Sales Cycle.

When selling Software as A Service (SaaS) in an ARR (Annual Recurring Revenue) world, the Opportunity Amount field is usually a good indicator of what the Invoice Billings will be, but not necessarily what the MRR is (monthly recurring revenue), or value of the contract is worth. Sometimes it is better to have your own field value, such as MRR from the opportunity products, that can determine was the ARR of the record is, while the amount field can be left for billing/invoicing purposes.

If you have any questions on the above,  please let me know in the comments below!

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